Lauren Tomkins is currently completing a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Honours) at ACU Melbourne.
"It has been a busy year so far but I have enjoyed the challenge and learnt a considerable amount about what research is all about. I started back in mid-January with an intensive 2-week unit about research methods, where I also met other Melbourne and interstate students completing honours. Honours has provided me with the opportunity to learn about the processes involved in completing a research project and what opportunities there are for a researcher in the field of exercise science.
"During my undergraduate bachelor degree in exercise science, I developed a good rapport with many of the ACU exercise science staff, and found they were always willing to provide encouragement, support, and assistance to their students. I therefore chose to complete my honours at ACU, as I was confident I would get the same support. I would like to thank my supervisors for the support and advice they have already given me, as they have provided me with the opportunity to get the most out of my honours year. Also, I was able to choose the exact topic area for my honours project from a wide-range of potential projects covering many diverse areas in exercise science.
"My favourite part of my honours year so far was the oral research proposals, where all the ACU honours students from Melbourne and interstate gave an overview of their research projects via video conference. There are definitely some interesting research opportunities out there. My project is focused around using the Microsoft Xbox Kinect to measure physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. I am also comparing self-reported and physical measures of function in this population and assessing differences in movement patterns between people with varying levels of osteoarthritis severity. I am about to start data collection and am excited to see what results I will get.
My advice to those who are thinking about completing their Bachelor of Exercise Science (Honours) at ACU is to think about the topic area you want to do and approach the lecturers who specialise in this area to see what topics they can offer. During your honours year, take every opportunity to learn more and seek support from your supervisors and the other honours students whenever you can."